Jakub Hrusa, Prague Philharmonia – Dvorak: Overtures (2016) [Pentatone FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Antonin Dvorak – Overtures – Jakub Hrusa, Prague Philharmonia (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:20 minutes | 1,09 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: pentatonemusic.com | Booklet, Front Cover | © Pentatone Music B.V.
Recorded: Forum Karlín in Prague, Czech Republic in January 2015

For a large part, thanks to the effort of Johannes Brahms, who introduced him to his publisher Simrock, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák developed into a composer with an international reputation. Don’t we all know his Slavonic Dances, his Symphonies or his chamber music, such as the Dumky Trio or the American string quartet? This album reveals some of the more hidden treasures of Dvořák’s repertoire, namely his overtures, of which he wrote no less than thirteen. In the booklet to the album they are described as follows:
All five overtures on this recording are richly and vividly scored, employing palettes of instruments broader on average than those found in Dvořák’s mature symphonies and sometimes calling for special effects. For their orchestral colour but also their rich expression of poetic content, as well as their purely musical invention and structural mastery, these overtures constitute gems of special brilliance in the treasury of Dvořák’s compositional bequest.
The PKF – Prague Philharmonia recorded this album in January 2015 at the Forum Karlin in Prague under the baton of their 2009-2015 Music Director and Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša.

While Antonín Dvorák’s symphonies and concertos are increasingly represented on multichannel recordings, his concert overtures are rarities, except perhaps as filler pieces with larger works. Because of this, Jakub Hrusa’s 2016 hybrid SACD release with the PKF-Prague Philharmonia on PentaTone is a keeper for its vivid performances of the orchestral triptych Nature, Life, and Love (consisting of In Nature’s Realm, the Carnival Overture, and the Othello Overture), along with My Home and the Hussite Overture, two overtures intended to be played before stage plays. The audiophile sound of this disc is extraordinary for its details and depth, and the Prague orchestra plays with impeccable precision and ample warmth. More than anything else, though, Hrusa infuses the overtures with an emotional richness and sincerity that clearly demonstrate his love for this music. The brilliant orchestration and Bohemian-flavored melodies inspire the orchestra to play with clarity and delightful expressiveness, and Hrusa’s lively pacing, balanced phrasing, and sensitive use of rubato combine to bring the music to life with a natural ease. Highly recommended as an essential disc to have in any classical library. -AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Nature, Life and Love (Príroda, život a láska)

1. In Nature’s Realm (V Přírodě ) Overture Op. 91 14.49
2. Carnival (Karneval) Overture Op. 92 9.38
3. Othello Overture Op. 93 14.35

My Home (Můj Domov)
4. Overture Op. 62 10.07

Hussite (Husitská )
5. Overture Op. 67 13.38

PKF – Prague Philharmonia
Jakub Hrůša, conductor